LAHORE-The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday confirmed an updated schedule of its men’s national cricket team’s tour of England, which will comprise three Tests and as many T20Is.

The opening Test will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester, from August 5-9, which will be followed by back-to-back Tests at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, from August 13-17 and August 21-25. The action will then return to Manchester as Old Trafford will be the venue for three T20Is, which will be played on August 28 and 30, and September 1.

Pakistan cricket team has been in Worcestershire since June 29 for its 14-day quarantine period during which the national team players are training, practising and playing scenario/intra-side matches. On July 13, the side will travel to Derbyshire before arriving in Manchester on August 1. After a long trip of almost three months, the national team will return home on September 2.

Meanwhile, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that England will host Ireland in a three-match ODI series in July and August this summer. All three ODIs will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The series marks another step made towards cricket’s gradual return to normality since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ireland squad will arrive in England and set up their base at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on July 18, before facing world champions England in three ODIs at the same venue. The second and third ODIs between the two sides will be on August 1 and August 4 respectively. Ireland, who last played an international against Afghanistan in March, have only beaten England once in their 10 ODI encounters.

Visiting captain Andrew Balbirnie thanked the ECB for creating a bio-secure environment for the series, which represents Ireland’s first fixtures of the new World Cup Super League - the qualification process for the 2023 tournament. “... Playing international cricket is a huge honour - and not only do we have that to look forward to now, but we’ll be taking on the world champions in their own backyard. That is the ultimate challenge – and we’ll be ready,” he said.

England are due to kick off their three-Test series against West Indies this Wednesday and their Ireland series is set to commence just two days after the culmination of the final Test. The Ireland series will be followed by Pak-England series, which will consist of three Tests and three T20Is. All the nine fixtures confirmed across the two tours will be held at either the Ageas Bowl or the Emirates Old Trafford ground in Manchester.

“It has taken significant effort and expertise to allow us to reach a position where cricket is now ready and able to return to the field of play from the elite level to recreational cricket,” ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison said in a statement.

“We owe a significant debt of gratitude to the players, staff and administrators of the Cricket West Indies, Cricket Ireland, and the Pakistan Cricket Board for their willingness and co-operation to get international cricket back up and running.” The ECB confirmed it was also exploring options to host England’s limited-overs series against Australia this summer.